Author Archives: summergathercole

Giving Meaning to Work

About a month after starting my first “real” job at a public accounting firm following college graduation, I vividly remember waking up and thinking, “I can’t believe that this is going to be my life for the next 40 years, … Continue reading

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It’s Time to Stop Faking Wellness

“Mental Health is a challenge, but not a weakness.” This is a statement made in the recent HBR article, “We Need to Talk More About Mental Health at Work.” I totally believe in and agree with the statement. However, it … Continue reading

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Philanthropic Failures Are Not Always a Bad Thing

Yes – there is failure in philanthropy. And it’s a good thing. Last month, well before the SSIR article, “Getting the Best Possible Failures in Philanthropy” was released, I was talking with a funder about taking risks and possible failure. … Continue reading

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We Are Better Than This

There are almost 175 drug overdose deaths per day in the United States – right now. It is a stunning number. There is an incredible amount of resources going towards treatment and prevention. And that should be a good thing, … Continue reading

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A Great Example of How a Community Can Learn and Work Together

In 2004, I graduated from Leadership Greater Washington – a 10-month program that included a cross-sector of leaders who came together once a month to learn about the various issues facing our region: education, housing, health, etc. At the time, … Continue reading

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I Hate Telling People What I Do

I cringe when I tell people that I am a consultant. There are too many greedy consultants who are in it for the wrong reasons: their own personal gain. They give the rest of us a bad name. So I … Continue reading

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Are You Ever Really ‘Done’ at Work?

When I was getting ready to leave my last job, I was frantically trying to get everything done. I had a transition binder for my successor, of course, but there were so many loose ends that still needed to be … Continue reading

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Effective Messages Must be Designed for Specific Audiences

“We just need to raise awareness.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this while working on a project. And I’m guilty of saying it too. If we can figure out how to make people care, then that … Continue reading

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When Do We Stop “Kicking the Can?”

A few years ago, I facilitated 15 focus groups with public school teachers. When I finished the focus groups, I had a new appreciation for teachers. They are so much more than providers of education. Teachers often serve as surrogate … Continue reading

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We All Want the Same Thing, Don’t We?

I recently worked on a project that required a number of different stakeholders to come together and solve some common problems. The problems were big, and there was a long laundry list of items that needed to be addressed. But … Continue reading

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